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Old 12-07-2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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Tires

I had a tire come apart on my last trip. The AAA tech replaced it with my spare and said all tires were probably original equipment and all needed to be replaced. (Selling tires is his livelyhood) I do see a problem with the front tire on the same side as the blowout. However, the opposite side shows no cracks like the bad side. When checking prices, the tires listed as Trailer Tires seem to be quite a bit more expensive. We only use our trailer (2001 - 27') 8 - 10 times per year and and travel less than 500 miles one way.
Now for the question: My neighbor works for a company, Gibson, that is a retreader. What is the general feeling regarding retreads? Any suggestions where else to shop for tire deals. (P205 75 R15)
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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Ed, you do need 5 new tires. The AAA tech was doing you a favor. Tires are organic and they age on the rack as soon as they are produced. They age even faster when they are parked in the sun. Mileage has absolutely nothing to do with it. No reputable tire shop will retread a trailer tire and a retread is not the answer--it's the carcass that's shot.

If you don't know the age of the tires, check the DOT code. The last 4 digits are the week and year of production. If the tires are more than 5 years old they need to be replaced.

Having a tire "come apart" is fair warning. The instant a tire fails on a tandem axle, its partner is overloaded and stressed even if you are able to come to a stop fairly quickly. Add the age of the tires into it and this is nothing to mess with. When tires fail like this we often lose the fender well and fender skirt also. And the next tire will likely fail on the next trip.

The most cost effective thing you can do is buy 5 new tires. Goodyear and Carlisle are just about the only game in town.

Henry
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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Ed, another thing too, I see you posted a P205/75/R15. Make you you look for ST tires instead of P, or the ST205/75/R15, in the Load Range "C" category. ST tires are trailer tires and give you a much stronger sidewall and more stability/less ability to sway on a tandem axle trailer especially. Some can get away with a P passenger tire on a single axle trailer with no brakes, but it isn't advised mainly due to the weight of the trailer.

Jon
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post
Ed, another thing too, I see you posted a P205/75/R15. Make you you look for ST tires instead of P, or the ST205/75/R15, in the Load Range "C" category. ST tires are trailer tires and give you a much stronger sidewall and more stability/less ability to sway on a tandem axle trailer especially. Some can get away with a P passenger tire on a single axle trailer with no brakes, but it isn't advised mainly due to the weight of the trailer.

Jon
After a 4 year old 4000 mile Mission tire came apart on the highway, I replaced all 5. I did a lot of research before I bought them so listen to Jon. He's right about using ST only. I actually went to load range D so if it happens again the one tire left on that side is well within it's capacity. One tire load range C is only within a couple of hundred pounds if left alone on one side on my T-1950.

I've had other problems with Mission tires so replacing them at that point was a no brainer.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:10 AM   #5
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The most cost effective thing you can do is buy 5 new tires. Goodyear and Carlisle are just about the only game in town.
I just bought a set of Maxxis radials and had metal valve stems installed along with.

Teach
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
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and had metal valve stems installed along with.
Sweet!
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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The funny thing about tires is that you can always find somebody who has had a good/bad experience with every brand. I got very good problem free service from the original Missions and would have purchased them again based on that experience if they had been readily available in the aftermarket.

I have had Maxxis now for a year and a half and one of them has short slits in the tread grooves all the way around. Another has some slits, the other two are ok. So, based on that experience I won't buy Maxxis again. I check before even a short trip to make sure the slits aren't getting longer or deeper and so far so good, but I doubt very much I'll get the five years out of them I got from the Missions.

I really think that with tires the only valid experience is a personal one, so I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from Maxxis or any other brand. Like I said, I'd buy Mission again without hesitation.

Henry
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:00 AM   #8
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This brings up the question: Why are trailer tires so iffy? Even when made by folks who put the sneakers on NASCAR?

Teach
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:08 AM   #9
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This brings up the question: Why are trailer tires so iffy? Even when made by folks who put the sneakers on NASCAR?

Teach
Excellent question!

Since we can and do manufacture outstanding products all the time, why can't we make quality trailer tires?

I hope this isn't a matter of planned obsolescence. The dangers involved in reduced quality tires should optimistically exclude such marketing nonsense.

If it's a market to small to devote the necessary efforts in, again I say the dangers involving usage must be the ruling consideration for manufacturers when producing such a critical product.

Bob
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awellis3 View Post
This brings up the question: Why are trailer tires so iffy? Even when made by folks who put the sneakers on NASCAR?

Teach
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Originally Posted by GoodoleBob View Post
Excellent question!

Since we can and do manufacture outstanding products all the time, why can't we make quality trailer tires?

Bob
Bob and Teach, yes really good question!

I know “we” US manufactures know how to make durable quality tires and goods.

RV camper tires are for sure an education. The 5 year guide to replace tires is even stated and documented by several tire companies. In fact Demann tire company before the where bought out and then out of business a few years later stated in their tire warranty they would not warrant any tire regardless of mileage beyond 5 years from date of manufacture. H’mm that says something.

Now with this known and documented fact that tires degrade over time since the day they are made why do we not have rules to not sell them if they are 5 years old? I know when I bought my last 5 Demmens now 2 years ago I told the guy at NTB I need/want/ must have tires ideally no older then 6 months and absolutely no older then 1 year. I said I have no issue waiting several weeks if needed to make sure of this. If you cannot guarantee that you can supply them in that time frame let me know as I will go else where. As we talked about this I told him of the issues facing camper tires and that they would have no problem selling me 2 or 3 year old tires as new and then 2 to 3 years later I need new ones as they age out. He was quite and understood as he knew I was right. It took him some time as the guys in the warehouse had to search for them to make sure the dates came out right. I ended up with 8 month old tires and if I had not pushed this I would not have ended up with tires that new. The average customer does not push this and there is no requirement to force them. The age thing is not only isolated to trailer tires, auto tires have the same issues.

Then there is the actual tire quality. In the RV world it is common for some manufactures to put tires on a camper with less capacity then the GVWR of the TT. They figure the TV tongue holds up part of the GVWR so the TT tires only need to hold 10 to 15% less. Well unless folks are 110% diligent about weighing their rig a tire can get into overload or close to it quick. As the tires age they loose their strength and that adds to the close to overload situation.

We are fortunate that Sunline did not adhere to this 1 tire smaller practice. Sunline , at least in the newer years that I know may have been since the beginning, sized the tires to hold the entire GVWR of the camper. This gave extra safety margin and safety factor as the tires aged.

And then there are folks who do keep track of weights, pressures and still have blow outs, cord separation, side wall bulges?? In these cases it is tire quality.

I do not have really any good answers to why the quality is so low other then maybe profitability. Why do RV some manufactures down size tires on TT’s? What cost difference is there from a C to D range? Since it is a known fact tires degrade with age and the capacity lowers over time, why not design in heavier tire components to start with to offset the effect? Why have “we” outsourced about every TT tire made to offshore factories? Why do we not have at least rules to not sell tires over 4 years old so the user at least gets 1 year of life? For state vehicle inspections why is tire age not a checklist requirement?

We for sure know how to build tires to take massive weight, abusive conditions and ultra high performance. Those tires do cost more but they are up to the task and then some. So why can’t they make trailer tires this good?

All good questions. For now the best we can do is become educated about it and we ourselves have to take the actions to make our campers and trucks tow safe.

John
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #11
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Even when made by folks who put the sneakers on NASCAR?
That's a good point. I'm not very knowledgeable in NASCAR, but don't they change out those tires really often without the ability to re-use them? If so, they never have a chance to age like other tires do. I guess that says something though, don't take a race car out onto the track with old tires on it...
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:03 PM   #12
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I have a 10,000 gvw equipment trailer that came from the factory with bias ply 7.00 15 LT truck tires. I'm seriously considering purchasing the same type tire when the Sunline is due for new tires. If they are used to carry a Bobcat or tractor, they should handle the weight of a travel trailer. Also, I think there's a better chance of finding an American manufacturer for these tires. I know there have been discussions before comparing bias ply to radial tires, but I don't remember whether the LT designation was part of the debate.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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Trailer Tire Stress

Trailer tires sit most of their lives, often underinflated, in the dirt and in the sun. When they're driven it's on hot summer pavement, over 65 mph, into potholes we can't dodge because we're towing and we can't remember if we ever curbed them or not. We make a lot of tight turns into driveways where they squirm and scrub and, when we forget, we may even leave them parked in a "squirm". We also bump them over straight edged 2X8s because we can't be bothered cutting a 45. I've even seen guys level their RV by parking it on a rock. Tandems are also especially susceptible to road debris as the leading tire will pick up sharp rocks or nails/screws and throw them at the trailing tire.

With all that you'd think manufacturers would build a better tire. After all, the Honda Civic guy can buy Z rated tires if he wants to. Companies with a quality reputation like Michelin don't build trailer tires because they'd have to charge so much we wouldn't buy them and the economics just aren't there in such a small market. When was the last time the Goodyear Marathon was updated? They can just keep building it forever because as the other manufacturers drop out of that market one by one Goodyear gets more and more of the share without doing any better. That's also why we have 50 psi wheels--they're good enough, or so we're told.

ABC did a story on old tires a couple of years ago ABC News Hidden Camera Investigation: Aged Tires Sold as 'New' by Big Retailers - ABC News

So, even meticulous maintenance and careful loading may not be enough to avoid trailer tire problems.

Henry
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:26 PM   #14
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I know there have been discussions before comparing bias ply to radial tires, but I don't remember whether the LT designation was part of the debate.
Al, see this post. Your question triggered me finally getting this post up. A good topic all by itself.

LT Tires on trailers
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:43 AM   #15
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Something else to consider...

(and it is more of a problem on boat trailers, unless you practice dunking your camper in the lake but....)

the spring leafs rust 'together'. A trailer used everyday will keep the rust from between the leafs. A boat trailer adds fresh water, twice, every usage. But a camper sitting for long periods also rusts between the leafs.

when that happens, you lose significant damping action of the leafs and the tire sidewall ends up being the shock absorber. Unless you are running D's or even E's, this will fail a tire early (and if you do run D/E it might be so still you transfer huge bangs to the coach itself.

part of my bi/tri-annual trailer maint when replacing wheel bearings[1] is to disassemble the spring packs and blast em and coat with an elastomeric paint.

[1] = : On boat trailers I use synthetic disc brake grease (I have disc brakes now) and lube it thru each year as I have a zerk and a bleed hole. unless I see water, I only disassemble every 2 years and if I see ANY rust I replace then and there. elsewise I replace bearings with tires. I get em cheap locally or thru Champion or E-trailer

On coaches, flatbeds or equipment trailers I replace very 2-3 years. I look at them yearly for inspection but do not re-grease - its a wasted effort. (If you pull 10K miles per year then disregard. I expect my yearly mileage to be in the 1000 range or less)

If you bust a bearing, what happens when it starts to go is to gald the inner race on the axle. THAT is a major biotch to repair. Even with good tools.
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